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Finding your inner calm is a goal for 2023

Goodness, life just went right past us in the month of December. I had all of these lofty ideas to write a blog a week around the theme of It’s A Wonderful Life. . and then well, life happened, both good and not so good, and I just couldn’t find it in me to sit down and write.

So, now we are in the first week of 2023. I am not sure if you have set New Year’s Resolutions, but there is so much hype about what new goals and changes a person will make in the new year.

My own daughters were talking about changes. This year, I had to think long and hard about what I really wanted to work on. Because what I have found over the years is that I set myself up for defeat when my goals are a bit too lofty or I want to do a complete change.

So, I am actually not doing a NEW YOU. I am going to work on the ME that has been hanging around for the past 44 years.

How do I find my inner calm: Gardening and writing.

When I can’t sit and write, getting my emotions out, I feel the need to dig in the dirt. I was just recently visiting my family in Arizona and I was asked to plant some bulbs in the garden before the snowstorm came. Hannah (my daughter) and I started to scratch the surface and dig holes for the daffodils and hyacinth bulbs.

It took me about five minutes to really just relax and find that zen moment. I was no longer thinking about the grocery shopping I needed to get done, the emails I needed to respond to, or the dinner that I needed to prep. I just was present, digging in the dirt, placing bulbs 3 inches apart from each other. I would watch the sky every now and again to see how much closer the storm was coming. Our goal was to plant 75 bulbs before the snow started that afternoon.

The act of doing something for nature made me feel content and Enough.

I read a quote that said “Gratitude is turning what we have into Enough.”

Iler Woods believes that changing your perspective leads to daily happiness.

Which leads me to the next thought. . . how to change a mindset.

I was recently lamenting about how life can be hard, or certain trials in life are unfair. But then, I realized that there is a way to change what is happening in your daily life, by changing your perspective.

This year, I feel like I am being called to be “of service” to others. This is a choice rather than a stress. How often have you felt like you want to help others but there is so much going on in your own daily life?

Well, maybe on your way to your doctor’s appointment, you can send some words of encouragement to a friend, or bring a bag of groceries to a neighbor, or listen, and I mean truly listen (without giving feedback) to someone who is struggling.

Those are all Acts of Service.

Those are all small actions that can lead to positive changes in other people’s lives.

Finally, this is a touchy subject. How to feel good about your body.

Raising two teenage daughters in the era of social media, can be tricky to say the least about having a positive self image. Regardless of age or gender, it is hard to have a positive self image.

Instead of focusing on the exercise plan or the summer goals, in the Iler home we are focusing on how to feel good mentally and physically.

For Scott and Rebecca, they have both taken up bike riding.

For Erin and Hannah, we have taken up more hiking trails.

Then, there are the individual goals- Mine is yoga, Hannah is watercolor, Rebecca is theater, Scott is guitar.

All of these hobbies we are finding as a family are helping us all feel better both mentally and physically.

So, I challenge you. . . instead of finding a NEW YOU, work on the ME that you have lived with throughout your life.

You might surprise yourself how much you actually like about yourself and how your talents can be of service to others.

Scott and Erin Iler embrace 2023.

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